BRIDGEPORT—Later this month, The Leadership Institute will be offering an opportunity to learn more about ministry to the sick and/or homebound.
After morning hospitality and an opening prayer on Saturday August 24 at 9 am, the conversation will include best practices for those who bring Holy Communion to the sick and/or homebound, Formation requirements, connecting patients to the parish and HIPPA guidelines.
All who attend will receive a 2019-2020 copy of The Catholic Handbook for Visiting the Sick and Homebound, the essential resource for lay ministers of care, especially Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
This portable, annual resource has been updated to include all the official rites a lay minister will need from the Book of Blessings and Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum to bring Holy Communion, as well as to pray and share the Gospel with, those who cannot regularly worship with their parish community. The book includes all the official rites an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion will need, as well as all weekly readings that can be used when bringing Holy Communion to the sick and homebound.
Patrick Donovan, director of The Leadership Institute explains, “In the midst of the 80+ face-to-face sessions we held for liturgical ministers, one of the questions that consistently came up was the appropriate way to distribute Holy Communion to those who are unable to join the parish community at Mass each Sunday. Husbands whose wives are homebound, wives whose husbands are in assisted living, and children whose parents are retirement homes – all wanted to know how to bring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to those they love.”
“It was moving to see how many people wanted to make sure their loved ones did not miss receiving our Lord in the Eucharist simply because their living arrangements had changed. The idea for this workshop was born from those conversations,” Donovan says.
Donovan explains that the workshop is open to anyone from any parish who brings Holy Communion to the sick and/or homebound, even if the person was not part of formation before.
Those who have the honor of distributing Holy Communion to those who cannot be at Mass on Sunday should, according to the Norms Governing Liturgical Ministries, receive a mandate from the Bishop and we can begin that process for those not already enrolled in formation, says Donovan.
The Leadership Institute has recently announced that the first wave of mandates (numbering 3,500, following the 80+ face-to-face sessions) have been signed by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano and are ready for distribution to parishes.
These mandates include anyone who successfully completed the formation process by June 30. Those who have completed formation since that time will be distributed in the coming weeks.
The mandates are available for pick up at the front desk of the Catholic Center (238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport) Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Fridays from 8:30 am to 1 pm. When you pick up your mandates you will also receive a book of blessings for liturgical ministers.
Each parish is asked to bless all liturgical ministers during a Mass between now and the end of September and to distribute the mandates as part of the blessing. Formation for new liturgical ministers will be available online in the coming days.
(For more information on Homebound Communion: A Conversation visit formationreimagined.org.)